HAPES OF CLAY
GLADDING, McBEAN & CO.
Beauty's the light that leads — a potent lure-
But past the threshold lies that magic vault
Where thrift is turned to gold.
RAPES OF CLAY
In Southernmost California
THE first structure ever reared by white men on the soil of Alta
California was the Mission of San Diego, founded by Padre Junipero
Serra on July 16, 1769. It was a rude makeshift affair, and was re'
placed, as soon as the progress of settlement permitted, by the substantial
building that still exists. From this newer San Diego Mission arose that
Mission style of architecture which is such a typical feature of present-day
California. San Diego, therefore, has an architectural history embracing one
hundred and fifty years.
During the Spanish and Mexican eras, when San Diego was a pastoral
paradise, many haciendas were built not unworthy of comparison with
those ancient farmhouses of Old Spain that are so much admired and cop-
ied today. But when the American occupation of California took place,
the settlers who poured in brought no architectural ideals with them, or
else abandoned them in the excitement of colonization. Architecturally
speaking, San Diego County, like practically all the rest of California, made
no advance for decades.
Looking back now over that period, one can afford to smile at the naive
homage that was accorded the Coronado Hotel, almost sublimely spacious
in its four acres of structures, but diminished to mid-Victorian pettiness
by its jigsaw translation of Sullivanesque into terms of mill-work. Office-
SHAPES OF CLAY
building and domestic architecture was equally debased. These were the
doldrums of San Diego architecture. May not the well-deserved vogue of
Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona be given some credit for awakening home'
builders in southernmost California? That admirable story ,with its appeal'
ing depiction of home'life on a great rancho, must have aroused many sensi'
tive persons to the ugliness of their surroundings by opening their eyes to
the beauty and charm of the Missions and the haciendas that were still
Then came a group of southern California architects, with Bertram
Goodhue, to put the stamp of their genius upon the exquisite Panama-
California International Exposition, and San Diego began to take a distin-
guished part in that renaissance of architecture that is drawing so much
attention to the Pacific Coast.
Of modern Mission, strictly so called, San Diego now has many fine ex'
amples, as also of that delightful range of adaptations variously known as
Spanish'Californian, Mexican-Californian, and Mediterranean, with those
pleasant elements of the Baroque and Plateresque that San Diego archi'
tects subdue to the dictates of a delicate taste. San Diego is constantly
acquiring, not only in these, but in other styles of architecture, schools and
public buildings, hotels, office structures, and homes that command the ad'
miration of the most exacting critics.
Father Serra and his fellow-missionaries came from Spain to Mexico
and from Mexico to California. In the first letter he wrote from San Diego
to the City of Mexico, Father Serra said: "We found vines of a large size,
and in some cases quite loaded with grapes. We also found abundance
of roses, which appeared to be the same as those of Castile." 11 In short, Cal'
ifornia reminded those first missionaries of home. And so, on this congenial
soil, they planted the architecture of Spain and Spanish Mexico. In partic
ular, the Latin roof tile is as old as the history of California.
Fortunately for the development of a native note in architecture, by the
time that California's renaissance was flowering, Gladding, McBean 6? Co.
had developed a superb series of Latin roof tiles far superior in every way
to those that the converted Indians made under missionary direction, and
IN SOUTHERNMOST CALIFORNIA
surpassing them especially in range of color and richness of texture. These
Latin tiles, as is apparent in the pictures presented here, are a notable fea'
ture of San Diego architecture, and their inherent attractiveness is enhanced
by their historical propriety. And Gladding, McBean 6? Co/s decorative
tile, of course, acknowledges Spain and Mexico among its major influences.
For terracotta and face brick as these have been developed on the Pa'
cific Coast by Gladding, McBean &? Co. there is distinguished ancient
precedent in Old and New Spain. Other Latin influences (notably the
Italian) are observable in the application of these beautiful materials; but
no precedent need be pleaded for their use anywhere on the Pacific Coast
from British Columbia to San Diego— they justify themselves overwhelm'
ingly not only in terms of beauty and utility, but also by reason of their
perfect congeniality in reference to our western climate and our western
San Diego has its roots in the past, but today it is a splendid American
city, and a monumental structure like the Medico'Dental Building is as
much at home there as the Castilian rose. This fourteen'Story and base'
ment class'A building was designed in modernly adapted Italian Renais'
sance because, says F. W. Stevenson, its architect, "this style best expresses
the character of a professional office building, and is so suitable to south'
ern California." The selection of materials is thus explained by Mr. Ste'
"A careful study was made as to the materials which would be most
effective in carrying out the design of the exterior. A combination of terra'
cotta and face brick was ultimately decided upon. The three lower stories,
the top story (which was set back on the street fronts to provide a prom'
enade deck around two sides), and the trim of the building are in terra'
cotta. The shaft or main body is of brick. The fourteenth story is roofed
with Granada tile. All these materials were furnished by Gladding, Mc-
Bean 6? Co.
"Four reasons influenced the use of terra-cotta: First, terracotta's econ'
omy in weight; second, the possibility of getting the texture and the
variegated coloring in the wall that I so much desired; third, the perma'
I ' Medico-Dental Building, San Diego. F. W. Stevenson, architect. Wm. Simpson Construction Co., general con-
tractors. This fourteen-story structure is clothed in Gladding, McBean & Co. materials. Smooth Granitex
terra-cotta and smooth wire-cut face brick, both in variegated warm shades, were com-
bined for the facades, while the roof is of Varicolor Granada tile.
Medico-Dental Building, San Diego. F. W. Stevenson, architect. Wm. Simpson Construction Co., general con-
tractors. Gladding, McBean 6? Co. produced for the lower story a rusticated Granitex terra-cotta
with a dragged surface that gives a splendid texture to the walls. This effect was
particularly sought by the architect of the building.
SHAPES OF CLAY
nency of terra-cotta, and the ease with which its impervious surface can
be kept always clean; fourth, the plasticity of terra-cotta, which makes it
possible to carry out economically the desired ornamental details. In no
other material can these results be obtained.
"For the body of the building a face brick of warm variegated shades
harmonizing with yet considerably darker than the terra-cotta, was se-
ledted. This brick was laid with wide-raked joints of dark-colored mortar,
and the panels in the spandrel walls were laid in patterns. With the ad-
vice and splendid co-operation of Gladding, McBean 6? Co. this color har-
mony between brick and terra-cotta was made possible, producing a very
The other structures depicted here embrace two schools, a hotel, an
apartment house, a beach club, a great government institution, a bank, an
art gallery, and several homes. All are distinguished examples of the Pacific
Coast architectural renaissance as represented in southernmost California.
SHAPES OF CLAY
Published by Gladding, McBean & Co.
General Office: 660 Market Street
Edward F. O'Day, Editor
Vol. in October, 1927 No. 9
San Diego and its surroundings appeal
strongly to the artistic mind. One of the
best short descriptions of the region is
from the pen of Eugen Neuhaus, the dis'
tinguished artist who published in 191 5
a volume dealing with the San Diego
Exposition entitled The San Diego Gar'
den Fair. Mr. Neuhaus wrote:
"... the city of San Diego, feeling its
way cautiously along the vast expanse
of the San Diego Bay. It has the typical
expression of a spontaneously grown
city, with the characteristic emphasis put
upon the center by a number of tall
buildings. . . . There is a peculiarly dif-
ferent note about San Diego. ... It is as
if the city had been chosen with regard
for the most manifold topographical va-
riation to be found, all within a close
range. The bay, a well-protected laguna,
offers such a well- sheltered haven of ref-
uge that one has difficulty in discovering
its union with the blue waters of the Pa-
cific, directly under the protecting bluffs
of Point Loma, toward the southwest.
Point Loma reaches out like a strong arm
into the open sea to shield the city from
the nagging of the prevailing summer
winds. Opposite San Diego, on the small
protective tongue of land which togeth-
er with the mainland forms the harbor,
the quaint architectural features of Cor-
onado loom up. . . . The placid waters
of the Pacific are not allowed to con-
tinue uninterruptedly towards the hori-
zon. Away out in Mexican waters that
boldly shaped row of islands, the Core
nado group, furnishes a picture of great
Such a region is, of course, a challenge
to the architect. It is bound to bring out
his powers. This has happened in the
case of San Diego. The "number of tall
buildings" noted by Mr. Neuhaus twelve
years ago has considerably increased.
Domestic architecture has been greatly
improved. Not the city alone, but all San
Diego County has shared the happy re-
sults that followed when the architects
of San Diego accepted the challenge of
a beautiful country.
* # *
On the cover of this issue is shown the charm-
ing church of St. Didacus, San Diego, Frank
Hope, Jr., architect; Lowerson 6? Wolstencroft,
general contractors. The roof is of our Junipero
Variegated Red tile, random laid, and represent-
ing the extreme kiln-run variation.
. - # # *
By an unfortunate error in the September issue
of Shapes of Clay, the Benjamin Franklin Junior
High School at Long Beach, California, was in-
correctly ascribed. The architect for this beau-
tiful school was John C. Austin. The editor
begs Mr. Austin to condone the lapse.
Ill ' Medico-Dental Building, San Diego. F. W. Stevenson, architect. Wm. Simpson Construction Co , general contract'
ors. These views show the admirable "tie-up" of Granitex terra-cotta, Granitex face brick, and Granada
roof tile; as also the fine effectiveness of terra-cotta ornament in Italian Renaissance
adapted to modern American office-building architecture.
IV ' Medico-Dental Building, San Diego. F. W. Stevenson, architect. Wm. Simpson Construction Co., general contract/
ors. In the architect's conception of this monumental structure the texture and color of the facing materials
played an important part. Hence his selection, after careful consideration, of Granitex terra-
cotta and Granitex face brick from Gladding, McBean 6? Co. kilns.
V ' (above) H. F. Schnell Residence, San Diego. F. W. Stevenson, architect Lange &? Bergstrom, general contractors.
For the walls of this large formal residence the architect selected our Old Rose Ruffle face brick.
(below) L. C. Robinson Residence, San Diego. Hurlbert 6? Tiafal, designers and builders. This charming home that in-
terprets the spirit of California's oldest city is roofed with our green-stained Junipero tile.
VI ' (above) Arthur J. Scully Residence, Coronado. E. V. Ulrich, architect. A. M. Southard Company, general con-
tractors. A beautiful home in the true tradition of southernmost California, roofed with our Junipero tile. w ' u
(below) Casa de Manana Hotel, La Jolla. E. V. Ulrich, architect, and superintendent of construction. This lovely hotel
on the Pacific Ocean beach, in San Diego County, is roofed with our Large Mission variegated red tile.
VII ' (above) La Jolla Beach and Yacht Club, La Jolla. Robert Stacy Judd, architect and superintendent of construe
tion. A roof of our Junipero tile gives this white building on the dazzling sands the cool tone of the distant hills.
(below) Bank of Italy, Ocean Beach Wm. Templeton Johnson, architect.. Edgar F. Hastings, general contradtor. The
roof tile is our Small Mission; our decorative tile is used inside and out; and for
the floors, our Santa Monica Promenade.
VIII ' (above) Mrs. John W. Mitchell Art Gallery, Coronado. Louis J. Gill, architect McGruer & Simpson, general
contractors. This exquisite shrine of masterpieces is crowned with a Gladding,
McBean & Co roof of Varicolor Granada tile.
(below) Mrs. John W. Mitchell Residence, Coronado. Louis J. Gill, architect. McGruer & Simpson, general contract'
ors. Here our Varicolor Granada tile was found to be the appropriate covering for the roof of a palatial home.
IX ' (above) Woodrow Wilson Junior High School, San Diego. T. C. Kistner, architect. Wm. Reed Construction
Co., general contractors. Our Varicolor Granada roof tile was used on this big school.
(below) Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School, San Diego. T. C. Kistner, architect.. Lowerson, Wolstencroft &
Eckels, general contractors. Here too the roof is of our Varicolor Granada tile. And our
hollow tile was used throughout the building.
X ' (above) Park Manor Apartments, San Diego. Frank P. Allen, architect. M. Trepte 6? Son, general contractors.
This large apartment building is clothed in our Old Rose Ruffle face brick.
(below) G. L. Strobeck Residence, San Diego. W. H. Wheeler, archited:. G. L. Strobeck, general contractor. The walls
have our Old Rose Ruffle face brick, and the roof tile is
our Varicolor Granada.
XI ' (above) U. S. Army and Navy Hospital, San Diego, (below) The Nurses' HmiE, another of the important units
of this great institution. Both these government buildings, erected under the direction of the U. S.
Bureau of Yards and Docks, Washington, D. C, are roofed with Varicolor
Granada tile from the kilns of Gladding, McBean c? Co.
GLADDING, McBEAN & CO.
San Francisco Office, 660 Market Street
Los Angeles Office, 621 South Hope Street
Seattle Office, 1500 1st Avenue, South
Portland Office, 454 Everett Street
San Francisco Sales Yard, 445 Ninth Street
Oakland Office and Sales Yard, Twenty-second and Market Streets
Tacoma Office and Sales Yard, 15th and Dock Streets
Seattle, University Yard, 4041 University Way
Fresno Office and Sales Yard, San Joaquin Materials Co., 744 G Street
Lincoln Plant, Lincoln, Placer County, California
Tropico Plant, Glendale, Los Angeles County, California
Los Angeles Plant, College and Date Streets, Los Angeles, California
Santa Monica Plant, Santa Monica, California
Alberhill Plant, Alberhill, Riverside County, California
Auburn Plant, Auburn, Washington
Renton Plant, Renton, Washington ' Taylor Plant, Taylor, Washington
Van Asselt Plant, Seattle, Washington < Portland Plant, Portland, Oregon
TerrA'Cotta: In enamel and unglazed finishes for the
facing and trim of buildings
Roof Tile: Both machine and hand-made Tiles in wide color variations
Face Brick ' Enameled Brick: Bric\for buildings and mantels
Vitrified Brick, for paving and sewer wor\ » Acid Brick
Faience and Floor Tile: Tile, glazed and unglazed,
for floors, walls, bathrooms, terraces, and mantels
Vitrified Salt Glazed Pipe: For sewage, drainage, and irrigation:
Conduit pipe, culvert pipe, drain tile, grease traps, flush tan\s, segmental sewer blocks
Hollow Clay Tile: For partitions and bearing walls
Fire'Clay Chimney Pipe: Chimney tops, flue linings, gas flues
Fire Brick and Fire Tile: Fire clay, fire-bric\ dust
Laundry Trays * Kitchen Sinks
Garden Pottery: Vases, benches, urns, fountains, pedestals,
sun dials, and bird baths
In this bank-room an arresting effed:
of beauty was obtained by the careful co-ordination
of a wainscot done in our decorative tile and a floor of our Santa Monica
Promenade tile. This is the Bank of Italy, Ocean Beach,
San Diego, for which Wm. Templeton
Johnson was the architect.
Gladding, McBean & Co.
Printed by Taylor & Taylor, San Francisco